Week 346

9th August, 2015

Gorgeous, gorgeous morning of High Summer. Sitting in the sun, drinking freshly made cappuccino and reading The Sunday Times on my iPad. What more can you ask for?

Read a couple of lovely jokes in the papers over the past, two days:

What do you call an Australian who is good with a bat? …….. a vet!

Hedgehogs…………Why can’t they share the hedge?


In spite of the lovely day, I must go for a workout. I feel lethargic after my day off yesterday.

The gym was totally empty. I had the equipment completely to myself at 11.30 on a Sunday morning. What’s wrong with everyone? They can’t be still in bed, surely! I did my hour and then drove home in 26C/79F of delicious sunshine. As soon as I walked out of the garage, I saw a couple standing in the gardens, looking at our property. When we approached them, they apologised profusely and said they had booked a viewing for Tuesday evening because that was the only time they could get out of work to view together. We took them round the property immediately. It turns out that they were buying for her mother who has sold a property in Sydney, Australia and was looking to relocate nearer to them in Guilford/Woking area. Nice people who liked the property, We will see what happens.

10th August, 2015

A hot and sweaty day. In the morning, Pauline made a lovely, Lemon Cake for Phyllis and Colin who are coming round for coffee tomorrow.

We were just preparing to leave for the Health Club when the Estate Agent phoned to say the couple who dropped by on spec. yesterday with a prospect of viewing ‘officially’ on Tuesday, had rung this morning and offered the full asking price which, not surprisingly, we have accepted. It is £40,000 more than it was valued at last Autumn and almost double what we paid for it four years ago. To add to our joy, the buyer is a cash buyer – lady returning from Australia who has no furniture. She is interested in buying ours. For the second time in five years, we may be having a clean and light move where we can start afresh with everything new – lovely! They are coming round tomorrow to talk about the furniture and its cost.

We are going back to Greece soon but expect to be moving out of here by the end of November. We don’t expect to be moving in to our new house until February/March at the earliest so we may take a long term let abroad – France or Italy or maybe even Canary Islands. Could be fun.

We were just settling down for the evening when, about 9.30 pm, a knock came on the door. A young man – mid 20s or so – was standing there in running gear. He explained that he had bought one of the flats here and moved in recently. He was a banker and worked in the centre of London. He runs to the station in the morning, showers and changes at work and then runs back to the train station after work and back to his flat when getting off the train. He’d just completed this activity tonight when he realised that he had left his key at work.

He was stuck outside his flat sweating in his running gear with nowhere to shower or sleep. To add to his plight, his mobile phone was flat. To make it worse, the only person he knew living within reach was his ex-girlfriend who he was reluctant to call on. He suddenly thought of someone about five miles away. We drove him round and everything was resolved.

11th August, 2015

Another day of high humidity. We tidied the apartment prior to visitors coming for coffee but didn’t go to the Health Club because, when our visitors had left, we set about listing all the furniture, etc that we were happy to include in the sale. We searched out and haggled over prices and then I typed it all up.

Our buyers returned with the estate agent and confirmed that they wanted the whole process to go through as quickly as possible. The husband didn’t want his Mother-in-Law returning from Australia and living with him any longer than need be. He has the cash and wants the property as soon as possible.

flat1 flat2

flat4 flat3

Now, we are pleased to have sold so quickly but we also have to sign a deal on a new and much bigger property. This apartment was fine for when we were spending our summers in Greece but now we want a substantial, new-build house with real space.

12th August, 2015

The day after our property sale was confirmed, we have gone into hyperdrive:

  • The first job was to select, check out and engage legal services for Property Conveyancing. It is possible for this job to be done by legal firms from Landsend to John O’Groats and we were offered by legal teams across the country with guaranteed fees ranging from £600.00 – £2000.00 (€840 – €2800). I felt slightly guilty about being timid but we chose a Woking firm with a fee of around £1000.00 / €1400.
  • The next job was to inform our Management Company of our impending activity. They will have to provide solicitors with documentation and us with returned, pre-paid Service Charge for about five months. We will also have a large part of our Heating charges returned.
  • We then had to hook our Estate Agent up with the legal firm and the Management Company.
  • Pauline returned to searching new-build properties, identifying and researching geographical areas and then contacting Developers about timescales. She’s been doing this for some time but her efforts are now recharged with purpose.
  • I had the lovely job of emailing people to let them know our news and then to begin researching potential European rentals for when we move out and are waiting for our new house to be completed.

13th August, 2015

A hot, steamy day of high humidity. We are progressing our situation by phoning Developers in the southern Counties to find out about availability and timing of properties we would consider buying. My job is to consider the finances and arrangements for it when we’ve sold. In January, the Bank Guarantee Scheme only covers us for £75,000 (€106,000) instead of the current £85,000 per person per Bank. This is because it is roughly the equivalent of €100,000. So, any one Bank will guarantee our Joint Account for just £150,000 (€212,000). In October/November, I will have to find six, separate institutions in which to deposit money if I want our deposit to be completely safe before we purchase our new house.

We went to the Health Club for the first time since Monday. Because of the break, it felt quite hard. I felt better about myself afterwards though. We ate a very simple meal of cold fish and salad which felt good in the heat of the day. ‘A’ Level results are out today. One of Pauline’s family is mid-6th Form course and struggling a bit. Lots of us are late developers. I did a quick search and found a wonderful course at the University of Greenwich with a low entry requirement and, as I wrote to him about it, I found myself thinking – I’d like to do that. It was a sandwich course over 4 years –

University of Greenwich

BA (Hons) Public Relations & Communications

You never know. I might apply.  Unfortunately, I will be 68 when I graduate. Will I still be employable?

14th August, 2015

Mild but moist day today. We did our supermarket shopping and then Pauline stayed at home to receive a parcel delivery while I went to the Health Club. Pauline had ordered a set of suitcases which, I must admit, I took a little persuading with the colour. It is called Chartreuse in the marketing blurb. I was persuaded with the argument that, not only would it stand out at the airport but was the ‘in colour’ for this winter. To prove this, my wife took me in to a number of dress shops where clothes featuring this colour were coming on to the rails. Nice try but I can’t afford new clothes as well!


Of course, by the time I had got home from my exercise, no parcel had been delivered and wasn’t until 7.00 pm. We will use these cases for our trip to Greece, a trip to Yorkshire and a trip to France. We will probably go away for two or three months after leaving our property and before  any new build is ready to move in to. We can’t decide whether to rent a property in the South of France or in Tuscany/Umbria in Italy for three months or to get guaranteed sun and relaxation with a couple of months or so in a hotel in the Canary Islands.

The Greek Parliament may have agreed the new austerity policies forced on them by Europe although it may be at the cost of the Government with the strong possibility of a General Election in September. Kathimerini features a cartoon today which appealed to me:


Images of floods of migrants washing up on the shores of Aegean islands are playing even less well across Europe than the earlier economic instability. There is a hint of lawlessness subtly  underplaying the implied atmosphere. The Daily Express has run and article warning of the dangers of holidaying in Greece. Under a headline of

The most dangerous holiday destinations

they say that  Holiday makers travelling to Greece were warned of moped and car accidents, sexual assault and violence on the streets. 

15th August, 2015

Interesting day. We bought a house. It is on the south coast in Angmering. A four bed property with two bathrooms, study and garage and south west facing garden, it will suit us well for a year or two.


Unfortunately, it won’t be available to move in to until February/March. I feel a long trip abroad coming on.

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